Posted on Jun 12, 2017, 6 a.m.
Essential oils are a commonly used relaxation technique, but they can also be used to ease many health related issues.
Many people are aware of the effect various scents and smells have on how they feel, physically as well as emotionally. Pregnant women often experience nausea when they are exposed to certain odors; typically the smell of meat or other foods as they are cooking. On the other hand, a bright citrus fragrance can often alleviate feeling of nausea caused by morning sickness or motion sickness.
Aromatherapy is a practice that uses plant based essential oils to treat stress, infections and tight muscles. Since "aroma" refers to scent, may people mistakenly think the practice involves smelling or inhaling the scent given off by essential oils. While the fragrance given off by certain essential oils is an important part of aromatherapy, massaging oils into tight or sore muscles also strongly figures into the treatments. Some of the most beneficial uses of aromatherapy and essential oils are listed below:
- Relaxation and Stress Reduction - Perhaps one of the most recognized benefits of aromatherapy, essential oils such as lavender, bergamot and ylang ylang can reduce stress and induce restful sleep. Relaxation is desired by everyone, and rest is very beneficial to people suffering from various chronic diseases.
- Debilitating Headaches - The hurry and worry of everyday life can cause an occasional headache for anyone, but many people suffer from severe migraines that impair their ability to function. Inhaling peppermint, sandalwood or eucalyptus essential oils can minimize or eliminate migraines, or a combination of oils can be added to a carrier oil and applied directly to the temple, scalp and neck.
- Energy Booster - Most people have a cup of coffee or tea in the morning to wake up and find the energy they need to face the challenges of their day. While not all stimulants are harmful, some pose serious long term health risks. Aromatherapy using essential oils such as clove, cinnamon, jasmine and tea tree oil is safer and also effective.
- Prevent Dementia - Memory loss has become a serious health problem, and people everywhere fear they may be affected by Alzheimer's Disease. Aromatherapy using sage oil has been shown to improve brain function and memory. While no cure for dementia has been found, aromatherapy can temporarily improve short term memory.
- Strengthens Immunities - While aromatherapy using specific essential oils is used to treat some health problems, a strong immune system can prevent the occurrence in the first place. Certain essential oils including frankincense, lemon, oregano and peppermint can boost the immune system to help prevent disease.
- Sleep Aid - Most people know that lavender is a relaxing scent that lulls fussy babies to sleep and helps an anxious adult drift into restful sleep. Since the human body needs adequate sleep in order to repair itself and re-energize, aromatherapy using lavender, chamomile, ylang ylang and sandalwood can help insomniacs achieve a regular sleep cycle.
Modern medical technology is able to treat and cure many diseases, but essential oils and aromatherapy have been used for thousands of years. It is much better to prevent health problems than to treat them, and aromatherapy has been shown to help maintain good health with regular use.